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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    Big difference between yours and the new ones. you can have those kinds of problems with any vehicle. Check out Mr. so called reliable Honda Oddysey problems. I don't rely on Consumer Reports either. After following this Forum for tha last 5 years, one thing I have learned. When you buy a vehicle its going to be either a good one or a bad one. Sounds like you purchased a bad one. Maybe your luck will change the next time.--DCH
  • Your luck will be alot better the next time around if you avoid anything produced by the original North America big three. Their favourite offering is mass produced garbage.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Thats most likely true, but Lexus isn't the greatest car in the world either. How about the road test in if I remember Auto Weekly about the Lexus 400 or 450 that they kept having electrical problems with. They would park it at the curb only to come back with the windows down, sunroof open pouring down rain, and many other problems that the dealer couldn't fix. Since at the time my buddy just bought a Lexus I made sure I made copies of the article and for about a month me and a few other guys who work with him kept hiding them all over. To be fair I think the Lexus in the best vehicle out there for most cases, but they aren't perfect either.
  • Vehicles made by GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler
    (we never got one until after Daimler purchased Chrysler Corp) have been reliable and dependable. I did get a few with problems with Big 3 but ALL foreign labels gave numerous problems.
    I have purchased the following NEW vehicles: 63 Impala, 65 Buick, 67 Impala, 71 Vega, 71 VW Super Beetle, 72 Volvo, 75 VW Rabbit, 76 Chevy Nova (GM car....not Corolla clone), 78 Impala, 80 Impala, 80 Citation, 81 Chevy C-10 Pickup, 87 Chevy R-10 pickup, 91 Astro CL, 99 GC SE, and now a 2002 T&C eL.
    All Impalas, Chevy Pickups, Astro, Buick, Vega, Nova were reliable with very few problems. The 80 Citation had numerous oil leaks and loose bolts and when the Manual Transmission had to be rebuilt (under warranty), we traded it off for the 81 Chevy Pickup.
    All Volkswagens and the Volvo gave many problems and in my opinion they are JUNK in German and Swedish languages.
    Our 99 GC SE had ZERO problems until 35,002 miles when it had a coolant leak that was fixed promptly the next day under warranty. It was such a fine vehicle, our daughter and son-in-law bought it from the dealer where we got our new 2002 T&C eL at the time we traded.
    We got a used 1976 Ford Fairmont for our daughter in 1991 that was a very reliable, cheap to operate vehicle.
    Toyota and its higher priced clone Lexus are very good, reliable vehicles....but too expensive to be a sensible purchase unless a person has more money than common sense.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Call me guilty for having more money than common sense, for I've owned three Toyota's (Cressida, Avalon, Avalon) and one Lexus LS400 (company car) in my lifetime. :-) At least I didn't have to pay for the LS400. Otherwise, that would have qulaified as an unwise purchase given the astromical price tag.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    We've had two American made vehicles, both Chrysler minivans, and have driven a total of over 100k miles with both vehicles combined. No problems whatsoever. American garbage? I don't think so.

    The notion of American automakers building garbage is quickly becomming a myth. Just look at Consumer Reports and all the other automotive authorities out there if you don't believe me. I'd feel much better now about buying a Chrysler van than I would have in 96 or earlier.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'll never purchase a Japanese vehicle from now on. Besides from just liking the design of American cars better, I didn't like how so few Japanese companies contributed to the 9/11 funds. Look at it this way, Chryslers in huge financial trouble but they still contributed 10k in hard cash to support families of 9/11. That really says something. What about Honda? Nada.

    That tells me they are after making money more than anything else. That's just how I feel about it...

    -Adam
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    Heh, are you referring to that scam email that's going around about automakers' contributions to the WTC disaster? That's totally bogus.

    One source puts Honda's contribution at 1.4 million and counting.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    carleton1 and 4adodge,

    before you get your knickers in a twist, i suggest you check out some folk's history list (click on their townhall name). it says alot about their authenticity or lack thereof...

    for instance, why would a guy who claims to own an '02 lexus only post in chrysler topics...?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I know how much you "editors" and "reviewers" here at edmunds.com love Honda but constantly trash DC and their products. I'll be real and take the word of that website over the "bogus" email that has been sent back and forth across the internet. But either way, Chrysler donated the most hard cash out of any other car company that I have seen.

    It's simple, just do the math. 10 million dolars from a company which is currently not doing so well finacially versus a company, like Honda, who contributes 1.4 million but its doing very strong money-wise. I think that really says something...

    -Adam
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "I know how much you "editors" and "reviewers" here at edmunds.com love Honda but constantly trash DC and their products"

    I always try to back up what I say, so I will continue to do so. To see for youself the level of bias the "editors" here at edmunds.com have, just look at the introduction to the long-term road test of their 2001 Grand Caravan ES. It almost gets funny after a while... I know I would be embarrassed to have one of my editors write such an unprofessional and clearly biased review of any car if I were the guy running the show at Edmunds.

    -Adam
  • I bought a 2002 DC Ex 3.8L in November, there has been this noise that kicks in after the van has warmed up a bit. It sounds like a cooling fan or something. There is a droning that is not related to RPM. It stops as soon as the engine is shut off. It does not cycle like an AC unit compressor would. In fact, I cannot control it with any interior function choices. The vibration that occurs with the noise can be felt through the steering system when I am sitting at a light or just idling. I do not notice anything when driving, only when I am at very low RPM, or sitting in park. Please advise. Thank You.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    Suit yourself. I've never owned a Honda. I did drive an '89 Voyager for 10 years. My brother had a CR-V for a year or two, but felt it was underpowered for pulling their pop-up, so they traded for a '01 Caravan. I've sat in it for 8 hour stretches, and it's a comfy ride.

    I don't have much tolerance for spam, especially those that spread FUD, and I don't believe everything I read, even if it's a car review from Edmunds.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    I took my '99 GCS in to the dealer today to get an oil change. At the same time, they took it upon themselves to do the fuel rail recall work. Including the oil change, I was in and out in 75 minutes. Therefore, if you can find a cooperative dealer like mine (Walser Dodge in Bloomington, MN), you can get the fuel rail recall work done immediately even if you don't have a '96 model van.
  • awyeeawyee Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2002 Grand Caravan SE (3.3L engine) two weeks ago and encountered the same problem. The noise is actually coming from the cooling fan when the van was warmed for the first 5 minutes. The problem went away after the van was driven for a while (~10 minutes later). The dealer do not know the cause of it.
  • I have a new (4,000 miles) T&C Lxi 3.8L that does the same thing as carey3's at seemingly random times. It does not occur that often, but I cannot control it either. It does NOT go away when the van is warmed up. Its on my list for when I take it in to the dealer for the first time. I'm curious too if anybody has a good answer - its very noticeable.
  • Hi, new to this forum, the "folks" have a 96 voyager, 98k with a distinct clunk noise in the front end when going over any kind of bump. Especially noticeable over speed bumps at low speed,I'm thinking tie rod end, or...???Has been a great van otherwise, no problems to speak of, their 3rd voyager, over 350k combined. Thanks
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Check the ball joint on the lower control arm. They should be greased every 30k, and if not done, can clunk. Removal of the arms and new ball joints pressed in cures the problem.
  • thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.
  • I have the same problem. The cooling fan comes on after the car is heated up. The car vibrates and the noise is very unpleasant. I have a 2001 Limited, w/ 3.8 engine. Dealer can find nothing wrong with the car. Would sure like to get a fix!
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I have a '94 DC/GC/SE purchased new and ordered with minimum options. Result, no electrical problems. Just the usual early transmission failure, paint failure, rear wiper motor failure and A/C evaporator coil failure, all paid for mostly by DC. No wonder they don't want to extend 7 yr. warranty to the second owner! What they really need to offer is a 10yr bumper to bumper warranty like the Korean manufacturers.
  • When my Korean-American neighbor won't drive a Korean label vehicle...that tells me something.
    She bought a Kia Sephia a few years ago but soon got rid of it for a Nissan Sentra.
    We test drove a NEW 2002 Kia Sedona EX and were quite impressed with the smooth, powerful, relatively quiet vehicle. However, it is NOT in the same class as the Odyssey, Grand Caravan, or Town & Country. Sedona feels smaller than the Voyager or Caravan and had wind noise from the luggage rack...something not noticed on many of the DC minivans I have driven.
    Reliability? Only 1 of dozens of DC minivan owners I know has had any problem. He had transmission failure on his 1996 T&C LXi at 150,000 miles. However, his wife said it was probably due to them pulling a heavy trailer all of the time.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Actually, the Hyundai/Kia bumper-to-bumper warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles. The 10 year warranty is for the powertrain only, and is transferrable only within your immediate family--unless you buy an extended warranty from Hyundai, which extends the bumper-to-bumper to 10 years.
  • My 2001 Caravan Sport does the same...both fans come on and usually before it gets to the operating temp.(even in -20 celsius) this happens at first start-up or when it's been sitting for a few hrs....at first I was worried but then my cousin told me his Intrepid does the same...I suspect the computer is controlling it (what's new these days) to make sure everything warms up quicker without over heating so that fuel burns cleaner(to meet emmissions). Once it's run thru it's cycle(give or take 10 minutes) I don't hear again...annoying since you might think it's a problem...maybe just a sign of the times?
  • gobaugobau Posts: 1
    I have '98 Dodge Grand Caravan and have a service light on. Does anyone know how to reset that?
    Help me.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I did not mean to imply that DC's quality is inferior to Korean's--I don't know about that nor do I care; I'm saying that a solid warranty is a sound way to retain customer confidence. The fact that DC will not transfer the powertrain warranty to a second owner doesn't help with resale value, either.

    I never had the major component failures on Ford or GM products that I had with DC, so I cannot say much for DC quality. Nor much for DC customer service, having had to return to the "five star" dealer 3-4 times before they agreed that the transmission was not functioning properly. Maybe that's why they call them five star dealers: it takes up to five visits before they can satisfy the customer!

    As far as other owners, all the DC owners I've talked to have had premature transaxle failure, and my independent mechanic says he has replaced lots of DC A/C coils, and the flat rate is about twice many other cars. As far as paint problems, I see it frequently on DC vans.

    As far as the service engine light problem, try disconnecting the battery cable. That clears the trouble codes on some cars, but my DC shop manual fails to impart that bit of useful information.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Maybe I'm very lucky. I had no problems with a '91 base Caravan I drove for eight years (I had some recalls done, but they never caused me any trouble before the recall work). I've had two minor problems on my '99 GCS in nearly three years: a defective sensor and a rattle in the side doors, both fixed under warranty. I guess I should knock on wood. I've also been extremely satisfied with the service I've received from my dealer, Walser Dodge (formerly Freeway Dodge) in Bloomington, MN over those 11 years. That more than anything may influence my decision of which minivan to get when the lease is up on the GCS in two years. It's easy to run into poor dealer service these days, so when you find a good one it's worth sticking with.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Although I did not have the same problem I found that I had to find another dealer to get initial problems fixed the first time. Dodge and Chrysler service dept. personnel do not seem to be concerned about where you purchased your vehicle so try another service department which may be able to correct the problem. I found that my selling dealer did not have an adequately staffed service department so was not in a position to fix anything of even moderate complexity. So, I stopped going to the Dodge service dept. after 2 visits and went to a Chrysler shop which did most of my warranty work without a return visit.
  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    As backy spoke so highly of his Dodge service department in Bloomington, MN; can anyone give a similar recommendation for a dealer in the Naperville, IL (suburb of Chicago) area?
  • Yes have all been checked--3 weeks ago the mechanic said the exhaust was leaking into the radiator--and installed thick copper washer between the block and the head--cleared trouble for 2 weeks.
    today the radiator was replaced with a used one from salvage--hope this fixes it but I don't have much hope
  • My 2001 T&C LX emits musty/moldy air when I turn one the defroster. It usually lasts for couple minutes. The dealer has tried to fix it a few times, but no luck so far. They "solve" the problem by spraying a freshener into the system. This just hides the smell. Has anyone, or is anyone experiencing this? Do you know how to fix it? Chrysler has not issued a bulletin on it however I know they recognize it is a problem because I received a survey and the last question asked was" Do you experience a musty smell when you turn on the defroster". My 2 year old daughter has asthma and we have to open the windows when we turn the defrost on. Not a good thing in the middle of winter. Any help would greatly appreciated.
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